Product images of Trial of sailing: 'Phaeton' the winner passing "Trafalgar" (the turning point), off Malaga, 17 July 1852
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Trial of sailing: 'Phaeton' the winner passing "Trafalgar" (the turning point), off Malaga, 17 July 1852
Inscribed in pencil top left, 'July 17th 1852 / Trial of Sailing / Fresh westerly wind - off Malaga'; and along the bottom in ink identifying the ships of the Mediterranean fleet involved: 'Vengeance', 'Encounter', 'Highflyer / (Second)', 'Phaeton/ (Winner)', 'Trafalgar / (Turning Point)', 'Indefatigable', 'Arrogant', 'Albion', 'Dauntless', 'Bellerophon'. The 'Trafalgar' (Mends's ship) is shown hove-to with her bow towards the Spanish coast and the other vessels racing to be first round her from the westward. These sailing trials were a regular form of 19th-century naval exercise, for reasons of practice and morale, in a period of extended peace - albeit one shortly to be broken by the Crimean War. In this case they probably formed part of the Mediterranean fleet's summer cruise from Malta - itself an exercise combined with 'showing the flag'. All the ships shown appear to be under sail only, though some (including 'Highflyer','Encounter' 'Dauntless' and 'Arrogant') had auxiliary steam. See also PAI0872 for a further such exercise, mixing sail and steam, off Cabo de Gata two weeks later.
George Pechell Mends
Original size: 255 mm x 372 mm
- Image reference: PZ0870-001
- National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London